You should take a minimal number of supplements each day, and there are a couple that I recommend to patients to take every day of their life. Most Americans are deficient in Vitamin D and Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil). You should take these supplements consistently, even without blood testing. You should take other supplements on a short-term basis at the recommendation of a healthcare provider that understands and practices functional nutrition/medicine.
It’s no surprise we‘re deficient in Vitamin D. Think about when you were last in the sun for over 20 minutes—naked. I’m guessing never. Not only would you need to be naked, but you would need to do this several days in a row. Vitamin D is critical for cell reproduction, so until you warp back into a caveman or cavewoman, you need to supplement daily. The best way to know your Vitamin D level is through blood analysis. Your level should be between 80-100ng/mL. Most Americans are between 20-30ng/mL. Your significance of disease and physiological dysfunction drops to almost non-existent at 56ng/mL.
Besides Vitamin D, almost everyone needs fish oil. When was the last time you ate fish? If you eat fish 1+ times a week, this makes you an anomaly in the United States—most people get ZERO fish per week. High-quality fish oil makes a massive impact on physiological health in the human body, way too vast to cover here in its entirety.
Fish oil is critical for every cellular function, but most importantly the reproduction of healthy cells along with adequate vitamin D. Fish oil also assists in reducing inflammation by supporting all cells in the human body. It doesn’t get rid of inflammation--it helps the cell work more effectively. Think of it as a lubricator or a boost for the cell. The cell works with more ease when adequate fish oil is present.
If you regularly take these two supplements, you can build cells more quickly. If you can build cells, you can create a healthy body. If your body can reproduce cells at a faster rate than they die off, health should exist. This explanation is extremely simple, but you get the point.
Supplements You Don‘t Necessarily Need
When taking probiotics, you need to look at your bowel movement—if it’s loose, not liquid, you need more probiotics. If your bowel movement is firm, in 3-4 inch sections, you don’t need probiotics. If you are constipated, you should not be taking probiotics as it will only further the constipation. If you have any digestive issues, you need help from a functional nutrition health provider to help you through this—probiotics are not for you at this moment and could make you worse. Probiotics should be purchased from a high-quality source like a healthcare provider, not a big box store, and should be taken at the recommendation of a qualified healthcare provider.
Most people also think they should take a multivitamin regularly, but this is at the creation of millions spent on marketing from large corporations making you think you need it. The corporations that produce multivitamins almost always make a subpar synthetic piece of junk vitamin that is priced at 3000% what it cost to make. It makes you more inflamed to take these because the source of the vitamins is so horrible. By taking a multivitamin, it’s also assumed that every person is deficient in the exact formula of that multivitamin. Believe me, every human that walks in my clinic is individually unique and needs a specific profile built for their body to be efficient and be healthy.
For any supplements in addition to your Vitamin D and Fish Oil, work with a healthcare provider so they can make recommendations for you based on clinical experience or blood work that looks for your specific deficiencies and toxicities. This is usually done in conjunction with dietary changes that will work synergistically with the supplements. If you take something and it makes you feel better, you want to know it was that supplement you took, right? Your supplement regimen should be temporary, and your progress should be remeasured and not based on you “feeling better”. Feeling better is a bonus and is definitely important, but the results should be reproducible for future optimal use of your body and health. I hope this helps clear up a few things and adds to your knowledge of this expansive health topic.